How To Avoid Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) In The Home?
Where Do VOC's Come From
VOC's, Volatile Organic Compounds are widespread, entering our homes through vents, air ducts, windows, are emitted throughout our house, through furniture, carpet padding, and household cleansers. Many times these VOC's are hard to detect as you can not see them and sometimes they have no odor. Chronic exposure to these toxic VOC's through household products and furniture can affect our ability to fight disease.
Choose Natural Furniture To Reduce VOC's
When purchasing new sofas, and mattresses look for furniture with no polyurethane foams, and low VOC finishes. Hand rubbed oil finishes are better than lacquers and stains. Look for ingredients that are natural, such as latex, wool, organic cotton and coconut coir, as there is little to no off-gassing of these ingredients with no toxic VOC's.
5 Ways to Reduce Toxins by Clearing the Air:
- 1. Remove your shoes at the front door. Shoes track in lead, pesticides and other pollutants. Stuff we track in from the outside can make our home toxic, especially for pets and young children who spend more time on the floor. At the very least, get a good doormat to wipe your shoes before entering your home.
- 2. Vacuum with a well sealed, high quality HEPA vacuum cleaner. This can do a much better job of cleaning your carpets than the cheaper vacuum cleaners found at most department stores. Steam cleaning can kill dust mites and bacteria as well.
- 3. Avoid buying new upholstered furniture containing "halogenated fire retardants." If it contains polyurethane foam, look for models where the foam is thickly covered or wrapped inside the cushion so dust from it is less likely to escape into your home. See if they offer non-toxic stain resistant fabrics as well.
- 4. Use an air purifier. Try one with HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) technology developed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to filter and trap sub-micron particles. Many reviews say this type of air purifier is the most effective.
- 5. Add houseplants to green and purify your living space. A NASA studyfound that common houseplants are natural air purifiers. Look for Aloe Vera, Philodendron, Rubber Plant, English Ivy, Ficus, Boston Fern, Gerbera Daisy and Spider Plant, to name a few.
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